Cape Range National Park covering over 47,000 hectares of elevated limestone range with plateaus of up to 314 mtrs high, forms the spine of the peninsula. It has many gorges with spectacular escarpments that have been eroded away by ancient rivers.
We visited & took a 2 hr return walk to the Shothole Canyon Lookout from the Charles Knife road.
We passed many other gorges along the 12km road.
Shothole Canyon was named after the shot holes left by seismographic explosions during oil searches in the 1950's.
1 of the locals catching some sun knowing no hawks case it's territory. Looking rather relaxed, don't you think.
Another local is the freshly caught tasty prawns.
The sealed road through Cape Range National Park ends at Yardie Creek. The creek & it's gorge is the only permanent creek in the national park.
The darker blue water, not far from the beach is the spectacular Ningaloo Reef. The reef is 260 km long and is Australia's largest fringing coral reef and the only large reef positioned very close to a landmass.
There were over 20 areas we could choose from to snorkel from along the Ningaloo Reef around North West Cape.
The white break waves form the edge of the shallower parts of the reef, in some areas less than 100 mtrs from the beach.
Turquoise Bay stretches for many hundreds of metres. The high sandy beach also becomes a nesting ground for green turtles in the months Sept to March.
The drive to Coral Bay 150kms south, was dotted with hundreds of large termite mounds like this 1.
Coral Bay is only a little town of 192 residents during the summer months.
The bay had no drift & we snorkeled straight off the beach - after we bought our own gear :-)
We visited the boat ramp & anchorage on advice from 1 of the temporary locals. It was great advice as the views were amazing here as well.
We booked ourselves a 2 hr glass bottom boat & snorkel tour. The tour takes us out to within 100mtrs of the break waves & to the deeper coral reef.
The coral on the way out was different to to what we've seen further north near Exmouth. Most of the coral also lacks colour due to less tropical temps.
I have a video camera that can be taken to a depth of 3 mtrs of water & also takes photos. The photos unfortunately are almost always not as good quality as my normal camera.
The views from the glass bottom boat to the beach were lovely
more pics of some of the locals
On the way to Carnarvon we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn - approx equivelent to Rockhampton in Qld & just north of Alice Springs in NT. No special monuments here though like there is in NT. The pic is taken from our moving car of others posing.
Point Quobba & the blowhole is close to Carnarvon. The coast is quite rugged again & is quite spectacular during extra windy weather.
The following few pics were taken on a windy day, but not blowing a gale
I went back the next day as the wind was almost gale force & took some amazing pics of waves thundering into the rocky coast.
The blowhole was rather tame on the previous day
compared to the next day................
Point Quobba has another outstanding feature also - it's aquarium. It's not really an aquarium as such, but a half enclosed protected & very shallow bay where reef coral, hundreds of colourful clams, sea urchins living in small holes & hundreds of reef fish of all sizes & colour. The only downside to snorkeling here was that the water was quite cold after being in it for more than 1/2 hr :(
I think this area was the best snorkeling experience of all the other areas along the Ningaloo Reef.
More pics of coral & fish, taken with my video camera
It was just so beautiful, & most of the fish din't mind us intruding on their territory
I loved the experience & can't wait to get back there again, or any other reef........................
(maybe next time when the whale sharks usually visit the area)
I loved the aptly named 'Coral Coast' , & I loved it more so by seeing it all straight off the beach :-)